Letter to the editor: uncounted ballots after election night

inyocourthouseWhy are there so many uncounted ballots after election night?

In Inyo County, over 61% of registered voters received a vote-by-mail ballot for the June 3, 2014 Statewide Direct Primary Election. Vote-by-mail ballots received prior to Election Day are processed early so that they can be included in the election night vote totals. However, there are hundreds of vote-by-mail ballots that arrive at the polls on Election Day and are not received by the Elections Office until well after the polls close on election night. Our focus on election night is to count the precinct ballots and get that information to the public as soon as possible.

We begin the process of counting the remaining vote-by-mail ballots that were turned in at the polls the morning after the election. We start by breaking down the materials returned from each precinct on election night. We then isolate the vote-by-mail ballots and begin the process to verify signatures on the ballot envelopes. Only after every ballot has been verified and accounted for, can we begin to tally the remaining votes.

California law gives Registrars 28 days to certify the results of an election (after Election Day). This is called the canvass. The canvass not only includes counting the remaining ballot, but is a methodical and precise accounting and review of the entire vote counting process. This can be very time consuming because the Inyo County Elections Office takes great care to ensure that all votes eligible to be cast in Inyo County are counted. All votes cast, whether in person or by mail, are included in the final election results compiled during the canvass period.

Kammi Foote

Inyo County Clerk/Recorder/Registrar of Voters

PO Drawer F

Independence, CA 93526

(760)878-0224 – office



One Response to Letter to the editor: uncounted ballots after election night

  1. Desert Tortoise June 4, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    Very well explained. Thanks.


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